Los Angeles – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not be granting Apple exclusive trademark rights for the term “multi-touch.” Read the rest »
2011 September Archive
Los Angeles – Lady Gaga has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a Chicago-based marketing company for launching a product line called ‘Lady Gaga by Design.’
The five-time Grammy award-winning singer of hits such as “Poker Face” and “Edge of Glory” is demanding that Excite Worldwide abandon a pair of trademark applications with the United States Trademark and Patent Office. Excite Worldwide filed trademark applications for ‘Lady Gaga LG’ and ‘Lady Gaga’ in the classes for cosmetics and jewelry in May 2010, which are still pending with the USPTO. Read the rest »
Orange County – Microsoft has entered into an agreement to share several of its patents with South Korean based electronics company, Samsung, in an attempt to compete in the competitive smartphone war. Currently, the largest players in the smartphone market are Apple, makers of the iPhone and iPad, and Google,producers of the Android Operating System. Read the rest »
Los Angeles – A lengthy legal battle between the companies of two rival heirs of legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix finally came to a close recently with a ruling that while Hendrix’s brother’s company, Rockin Artwork, had damaged the reputation and goodwill of Hendrix’s adopted sister Janie’s trademark rights, the jury verdict of $1.4 million was excessive.
Widely considered the greatest guitar player of all time, Jimi Hendrix died at age 27 in 1970, leaving his entire estate to his father Al Hendrix. Upon Al’s death, he granted his entire estate to his adopted daughter Janie Hendrix. With that inheritance came rights to the majority of Jimi’s music and various other licensing rights. Leon Hendrix was denied any inheritance by his father. Read the rest »
Orange County – American Water Works Company was recently issued U.S. Patent No. 8,012,352 for “Optimized Nutrient Removal from Wastewater.” The largest public water utility company in the United States, American Water employs over 8,000 people and services more than 16 million Americans in 32 states. American Water is confident that the new patented process will decrease the high energy costs of wastewater treatment and make the process more environmentally sustainable. Read the rest »
San Diego – Last Friday, David Kappos, the Director of the USPTO, weighed in with his thoughts on the passage of patent reform with Lisa Murphy on Bloomberg TV’s “Fast Forward.” Read the rest »
San Diego – In a controversial decision, the Federal Circuit recently upheld a District Court ruling in favor of Monsanto in the patent infringement case Monsanto Company v. Bowman. Monsanto brought an action for patent infringement against Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman after learning that he had purchased second generation soybean seeds of Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” line from a grain elevator and replanted them. Read the rest »
San Diego – UltimatePointer LLC, a Texas-based technology company, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nintendo over claims that Nintendo’s Wii remote directly conflicts with its own patent. UltimatePointer is also going after everyone else even remotely involved with the Wii, including Nintendo of Japan and Nintendo of America and various retailers involved in the making, using, importing, and/or selling the Wii systems, games, and related accessories. Read the rest »
Los Angeles – The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently upheld the decision to deny trademark protection to Apple for the term “Multi-Touch.” Apple has used the term to refer to a variety of functions that can be performed using the iPhone or the track pad of MacBooks including, tapping, scrolling, pinching, and swiping. While Apple has had success marketing this feature, the TTAB concluded that the term had not acquired sufficient distinctiveness to receive trademark protection.
A trademark may be either inherently distinctive or may acquire distinctiveness through use in commerce. Arbitrary or fanciful trademarks, such as Google, and suggestive trademarks, such as Coppertone, do not need to acquire secondary meaning for protection. Generic words (soap, refrigerator) are not eligible for trademark protection. Descriptive trademarks may be eligible for trademark registration if they have acquired secondary meaning through use in commerce. In other words, a descriptive trademark must do more than describe the product. To be eligible for registration, a descriptive trademark must create an association in the minds of consumers between the trademark and the source of the product or service. Read the rest »
Orange County – Nintendo Wii’s wireless controller is under attack in the Eastern District of Texas by UltimatePointer, LLC who alleges that the Wii’s wireless remote technology conflicts with its own patent, US Patent No.7,746,321. UltimatePointer alleges that its interactive direct-pointing technology has been infringed by Nintendo in the design and sale of the Wii wireless controller, which also employs interactive direct-pointing systems. Read the rest »